NEW DELHI :
The government has notified two Ordinances which seek to provide barrier-free trade for farmers' produce outside the notified farm mandis, and empowers farmers to enter into farming agreements with private players prior to production for sale of agri-produce.
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance were promulgated on June 5, 2020. However, the Union Agriculture Ministry notified the two Ordinances on July 20.
According to the notification, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers' produce outside the government notified mandis.
Farmers are allowed to trade at any place of production, aggregation and collection centres of farmers' produce, including farm gates, factory premises, warehouses, silos and cold storages.
The Ordinance also permits electronic trading of farmers' produce in the specified trade area. Private players, farmer producer organisations or agricultural cooperative society can establish and operate such platforms.
A person operating the platform will be subject to a penalty between ₹50,000 and ₹10 lakh for non-compliance with e-trading provisions. In case of continuous contravention, a further penalty of up to ₹10,000 per day may be imposed.
On payment, the Ordinance clearly states that a person transacting with a farmer will be required to make payments to the farmer on the same day, or within three working days in certain conditions, for any transaction of scheduled farmers' produce.
The Ordinance, however, prohibits state governments from levying any market fee, cess or levy on farmers, traders, and electronic trading platforms.
It also specifies dispute resolution mechanisms where the parties involved in a trade-related dispute may apply to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate for relief through conciliation.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance provides for farming agreements with private players prior to production for sale of agri-produce at pre-determined price, quality and period of delivery.
The Ordinance also provides a framework for protection and empowerment of farmers with reference to sale and purchase of farm products.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.